Democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq and DROC:
International meeting in Beirut March 7 to 9 2004Democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the theme of the joint meeting of the Scientific Committee of the International Centre for Human Sciences at Byblos and the International Panel on Democracy and Development (IPDD), organized by UNESCO from March 7 to 9 in Beirut (Lebanon), with the support of the Lebanese Ministry of Culture.*
Debate at the meeting will concern the “Integrated strategy for an international programme on democracy within the framework of the International Centre for Human Sciences at Byblos” adopted by UNESCO’s Executive Board at its 167th session in October 2003. The strategy defined three main lines of action: fostering comparative analytical research; organizing international dialogue on the future of democracy; and supporting democracy in post-conflict societies.
The Byblos Centre aims at facilitating international and interregional cooperation and exchanges, at serving as a forum to disseminate results of research in the social and human sciences, at building up research capacities in different regions, and at fostering and strengthening networks of institutes.
The high point of the meeting will be the presentation by researchers working on democracy in post-conflict societies of proposals for elaborating a research programme on democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC).
Pierre Sané, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Chairman of the International Panel on Democracy and Development, and Ghazi Aridi, Lebanon’s Minister of Culture, will speak at the opening ceremony (Monday, March 8 at 9.30 a.m.).
Members of the IPDD are expected to attend the meeting: Princess Basma Bint Talal (Jordan), Pierre Cornillon (France), Sung-Joo Han (Republic of Korea), Abid Hussain (India), Attiya Inayatullah (Pakistan) and Alexei Vassiliev (Russian Federation). They will be joined by the members of the Byblos Centre: Selim Abou (Lebanon), Mohammed Arkoun (Algeria), Ahmad Beydoun (Lebanon), Ledivina V. Cariño (Philippines) and Guy Hermet (France).
International specialists on democracy in post-conflict countries expected to take part include Nasrine Abou-Bakr Gross (Afghanistan), Riyadh Aziz Hadi (Iraq), Ramazan Bachardoust (Afghanistan), Alain Caille (France), William Maley (Australia), Mabiala Mantuba-Ngoma (DROC), Carole O’Leary (USA), Wamidh Omar Nadhmi (Iraq), Werner Prohl (Germany), Mwayila Tshiyembe (DROC/France) et Gul Rahman Qazi (Afghanistan).
Also on the agenda are the report on the Byblos Centre’s activities and the presentation by its director, Theodor Hanf (Germany) 2004-2005 work plan; and a discussion of the IPDD’s work plan presented by Mr Boutros-Ghali.
The meeting is being held in continuation of the “Democracy and Peace” international conference (Beirut June 2 and 3) which brought together members of the IPDD and of the Byblos Centre’s Scientific Committee, as well as Lebanese policy-makers, academics, local students, diplomats and representatives of civil society.
* Ahead of the meeting, on Sunday March 7, Lebanon’s Minister of Culture Ghazi Aridi will officially inaugurate the Byblos Centre’s new rooms, in the presence of Pierre Sané, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Theodor Hanf and members of the IPDD and Byblos Centre attending.